Wednesday, April 23, 2014
PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA
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Bear poachers sentenced to jail time, fines

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From page A3 | December 11, 2013 | 10 Comments

Two men were sentenced Dec. 6 to prison time and fines after pleading no contest to poaching bears.

Peter George Vitali, 56, of Pioneer, and Arthur Martin Blake, 59, of River Pines, were sentenced to 30 days in jail and 36 months of probation, a press release from the Department of Fish and Wildlife stated. Additionally, Vitali was ordered to pay a $12,500 fine and Blake was ordered to pay a $5,000 fine.

The two were arrested in April by CDFW officers who found them in possession of 20 large bear claws and three bear gall bladders in the Eldorado National Forest.

Evidence suggested that Vitali and Blake had recently killed three bears, a sow and two cubs. From the sow, the claws, liver and gall bladder were removed. Only the liver and gall bladder were removed from the cubs.

“This case is an example of the challenges our officers face,” said CDFW Lt. Stacey LaFave. “Heavy fines and jail time send a strong message to poachers who unlawfully take and profit from California’s natural resources.”

Vitali and Blake pleaded to misdemeanor charges of illegally taking wildlife for profit in November.

The sale, purchase or possession of any bear part is against the law. Bear gall bladders are sold on the black market as the bile from the organ is believed by some to have medicinal properties. California law states that possession of more than one bear gall bladder is prima facie evidence that the bear gall bladders are possessed for sale.

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Discussion | 10 comments

  • xiong wangDecember 10, 2013 - 11:07 am

    Looks like karma caught up with their chi.

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  • kggDecember 10, 2013 - 4:23 pm

    30 days in jail? what creeps.

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  • sick of dirt bagsDecember 11, 2013 - 7:02 am

    Lovely-as I'm sure you have guessed-local dirt bags, I wonder how they would feel having their entire family wiped out-all for the mighty dollar-the low morals run deep through the families, can expect many generations of "these "type" of people". Great.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • tcDecember 11, 2013 - 9:51 am

    30 days how about 30 years(tweaks)

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  • Alex NettoDecember 11, 2013 - 6:59 pm

    Damn , the guy shot a bear.... Not the president . Any one of you that are talking so badly about this person know the man personally ? Must be nice to be so perfect .

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  • Neil MarwanFebruary 15, 2014 - 7:02 pm

    I knew Pete "back in the day". Iwas friends with his brother, Danny. My wife and I used to go with Danny to their parents place on the Russian River all the time, damn near every weekend in the summer. Pete was there a lot too. Pete had his hound, Blue, at the time and they would be gone a lot at night. Not sure what they were doing. Pete will admit, I'm sure that he's no angel. Pete may not admit that his punishment is pretty light, since he's probably familiar with the law. Oh yeah, when any one see's him when he gets out ask him about the power/ telephone pole he knocked down by the river. Yeah, I know him a little.

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  • U MORONSDecember 11, 2013 - 7:52 pm

    Not so long ago, F&G PAID to have bears removed with bounties. Then they figured out they could make money by selling tags to shoot them. Today they are hunted every year, no matter what size, if you pay the F&G. If you DON'T pay, then it is poaching... get a brain.

    Reply | Report abusive comment
  • U MORONSDecember 11, 2013 - 8:01 pm

    If blue rocks all of a sudden became worth their weight in gold, you can bet 15 government agencies would regulate them for their cut... get a brain. Ever wonder what F&G does with bear gall bladders they acquire? (might want to check that out)

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  • A Hunting ActivistDecember 12, 2013 - 7:15 am

    Alex and U, POACHERS are not hunters. Hunters hate POACHERS. Hunters are the true environmentalists. They believe in sustainability and the love of our environment. POACHERS are RAPISTS. If I see a RAPISTS in the act I would kill that person. There are many places in the world where they do the same to POACHERS.

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  • robertdnollDecember 12, 2013 - 7:41 am

    poachers should lose their vehicles,guns,and hunting privileges

    Reply | Report abusive comment
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